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Oyo Health Workers Begin Seven Day Warning Strike On Monday

24 June

Reported by Ayooluwa Afolabi

The Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Oyo Chapter, an affiliate of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Oyo state council, has announced a seven-day warning strike set to commence on Monday, June 24, 2024. 

All health institutions owned and managed by the Oyo state government will be shut for the next seven days.

The notice of the warning strike was disclosed by the union president, Comrade John Fabunmi on Sunday in a letter dated June 21st, 2024, addressed to Governor Seyi Makinde and signed by the secretary, Comrade Suraju Alabi.

He directed that the seven-day industrial action will involve all the members of the Union across all health institutions in the state including ministries, departments, and local government areas.

Comrade Fabunmi disclosed that the strike action is imperative to press further the demands of the Union, which have been consistently communicated to the government without satisfactory response.

According to The Nation Newspapers, when contacted, Comrade Suraju Alabi said the union has been pushed to the wall to embark on the strike after a series of letters addressed to the government has not yielded any positive result.

He said members of the union felt disappointed in the government despite its firm belief and support to the administration, after shunning a series of calls for a strike by other unions as a show of solidarity with the government and rest for human lives which the nature of their job entails.

By implication, he said all workers across all health facilities owned by the state government from the gatemen to Grade Level 17 officers in every facility are members of the Union and are not expected to report for duty from Monday (today).

He said however that the list didn’t include medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and laboratory scientists working at the facilities.

He noted that, with the warning strike notice which is expected to be fully complied with, access to the medical and health facilities owned by the state government may be denied to anyone from tomorrow.

Comrade Alabi also added that the membership of the union to be affected by the strike includes officers of government Ministries, Departments Agencies such as the Water Corporation, the Ministry of Agricultural where Animal Health Husbandry officers work, the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Health where the Community Health Extension Officers work, among other places.

The decision to strike follows a previous ultimatum given to the state government. 

The unions referenced an earlier communication dated May 27, 2024, which provided a 14-day period for the government to address their concerns. Despite this, the union asserts that no significant actions have been taken to resolve the issues at hand.

The Nation Newspapers which sighted a copy of the letter, reports that the letter, reads in part, with the title “Re: Notification of Industrial Action

“Sequel to our letter with ref. No. OYSC/MHWUN/AD/INDU.ACT/0524 dated 27th May 2024 on the above subject matter giving the State government a 14-day ultimatum to attend to all our grievances, we wish to draw the attention of Your Excellency to the fact that up till now nothing has been done to assuage the present situation.

“In view of the present situation and agitations from every quarter in our union, the union has therefore resolved to embark on a seven (7) day warning strike to further press for the attention of the government to attend to agitations.

“All our members in all Health Institutions, Ministries, and all Local Governments will be participating in the seven (7) days warning strike which will commence at 12:01 am midnight of Monday 24th June 2024, after further actions may be embarked upon.”

Comrade Alabi further added that the turn of events will determine what will happen after the expiration of the seven-day warning strike is over.

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